I’m on vacation until the end of next week, so the posts here at CAB may be sparse and short over the next 10 days or so, but here is a short news item that caught my eye. According to this article from the Hindu Times, the Indian Parliament is considering a bill that would allow U.S.-style class actions in securities fraud cases in India.
Archive for July, 2009
Posted in Class Action Trends, CLE Programs, tagged cba, cle, colorado bar association, consumer class action, economic crisis, economic crisis class action, ERISA Class Action, securities class action, seminar, subprime crisis on July 22, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
It’s not too late to register for Economic Crisis Litigation Update CLE, to be held at the Colorado Bar Association offices in Denver. Here are the details.
There are 5 easy ways to register. Download the registration form at
1. FAX the form to the Colorado Bar Association CLE offices at (303) 860-0624
2. MAIL the form to CBA-CLE at 1900 Grant Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80203
3. CALL us! (303) 860-0608, or toll-free (888) 860-2531
4. REGISTER ONLINE at:
5. OR REGISTER FOR THE LIVE WEBCAST AT:
CAN’T ATTEND THE PROGRAM? ORDER YOUR HOMESTUDY ONLINE TODAY!
We look forward to providing you with the best information and service available,
to meet all of your continuing legal education needs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you do not wish to receive e-mail correspondence regarding CBA-CLE seminars.
Our mailing address is 1900 Grant Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80203
http://www.cobar.org/cle/datadetail.cfm?ProductID=LI072410Dhttp://www.cobar.org/calendar/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=LI072410Whttp://www.cobar.org/cle/photos/eventpdfs/LI072410L.pdf and:http://www.cobar.org/calendar/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=LI072410Lhttp://www.cobar.org/calendar/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=LI072410Lhttp://www.cobar.org/calendar/eventdetail.cfm?EventID=LI072410L• Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction
ECONOMIC CRISIS LITIGATION UPDATE: Subprime Mortgages, Shareholder Suits, ERISA, Class Actions and More!
Co-sponsored by the Securities Law and Class Actions Subsections of the CBA Litigation Section
LIVE PROGRAM: July 24, 2009
At the CBA-CLE Classroom, 1900 Grant Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO
LIVE WEBCAST: July 24, 2009
Direct to your desktop!
VIDEO REPLAYS: August 14, 2009
For additional information on this course or to view the program brochure go to:
What You Will Learn:
- Subprime Securities Litigation: Important Trends and Developments in Securities Litigation and Derivative Suits
- ERISA Class Actions
- Consumer Class Actions and Other Hot Litigation Issues Driven by the Economic Crisis
Who Should Attend:
- Securities Law Attorneys
- Business Law Attorneys
- Industry Professionals
- Anyone Who Needs Up-to-date, Expert Guidance on the Hottest Litigation Issues Spawned by the Economic Downturn!
Litigators! Securities lawyers! Business lawyers! Here is the program you have been waiting for!
Since the economic crisis began gripping our country, there has been much discussion in the media about the litigation that is resulting from the economic downturn. But how do you separate the spin and hyperbole from the real information you and your clients need? What are the issues that are really driving the litigation that is resulting from the stock and real estate market crashes? What are the holdings in recently decided cases such as Stoneridge and In re IPO Securities Litigation and what do these holdings mean for you and your clients.
Attend this timely, practical program and find out!
The program’s experienced instructors hail from both the plaintiff and defense bars, giving you balanced, valuable insight to guide you in this emerging area of the law. From real world guidance on how to prove (or defend against) causation in securities cases, to ERISA issues that can start (or end) a lawsuit, to the real scoop on the facts that can sustain (or not sustain) a mortgage fraud lawsuit, you will get valuable knowledge, tips, and skills you can put to use right away in your practice.
Whether you are plaintiff’s counsel or defense counsel, you need to be able to evaluate the merits of a case that stems from the fallout from the economic meltdown. Is it a real case, with facts that can prove meritorious or not? Find out from the attorneys who are on the cutting edge in this hot area of law…
Register for this timely, practical program today!
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM – 9:05 AM – Welcome and Introduction
Extended by Paul Karlsgodt, Esq., Program Chair
9:05 AM – 10:05 AM - Subprime Securities Litigation
Learn about the trends in securities class actions and derivative suits that arise from subprime investments! Topics include:
- The impact of Stoneridge, In re IPO Securities Litigation, and other developments in securities class actions
- Trends in securities class action verdicts, judgments, and settlements
- Practical considerations in securities litigation given the economic crisis (e.g., the difficulty in proving causation given the general economic downturn)
Presented by Jeffrey W. Lawrence, Esq., Holly Stein Sollod, Esq. and Cliff Stricklin, Esq.
10:10 AM – 10:40 AM – ERISA Class Actions Relating to Subprime Asset Investments by Retirement Plans (Part 1 of 2)
After Stoneridge, is ERISA litigation overtaking securities litigation as the vehicle of choice for seeking redress of alleged losses caused by subprime investments? Learn the answers to these important questions:
- What makes ERISA litigation a desirable alternative to a securities claim?
- What are the trends in ERISA litigation?
- What do I need to know about the LaRue decision and what is its impact on ERISA litigation so far?
Presented by Dirk W. de Roos, Esq. and Todd J. McNamara, Esq.
10:40 AM – 10:50 AM – Break (10 minutes)
10:50 AM – 11:20 AM – ERISA Class Actions Relating to Subprime Asset Investments by Retirement Plans (Part 2 of 2)
11:25 AM – 12:25 PM- Developments in Consumer Class Actions and Other Subprime-related Litigation
Is the economic crisis really causing the flood of consumer class action litigation that some predicted? Find out about:
- Class actions and individual claims under the Truth In Lending Act (TILA)
- Consumer class actions and other claims for mortgage fraud and related litigation
- What is the impact of the poor economy on class action litigation?
Presented by Lila M. Bateman, Esq. and Frances Johnson, Esq.
12:25 PM – Adjourn
Paul Karlsgodt, Esq., Program Chair
Baker & Hostetler, LLP
Lila M. Bateman, Esq.
Morrison & Foerster, LLP
Frances Johnson, Esq.
The Carey Law Firm
Colorado Springs, CO
Dirk W. de Roos, Esq.
Faegre & Benson, LLP
Jeffrey W. Lawrence, Esq.
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, LLP
San Francisco, CA
Todd J. McNamara, Esq.
McNamara, Roseman, Martínez & Kazmierski, LLP
Holly Stein Sollod, Esq.
Holland & Hart, LLP
Cliff Stricklin, Esq.
Holland & Hart, LLP
Submitted for 4 General CLE Credits
- Non-member $199.00
- CBA Member $179.00
- Litigation Section $149.00
- Business Law Section $149.00
- New Lawyer (2 yrs) $129.00
- YLD Member $129
- Legal Support Staff $129.00
For course details or to register online, go to:
Posted in Class Action Trends, Reports and Surveys, Securities Class Actions, tagged class action report, Class Action Trends, financial crisis litigation, global financial crisis, securities class action on July 21, 2009 | Leave a Comment »
As reported in this recent Financial Times article, the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research have issued a Mid-Year Report on trends in securities class action filings. Among the report’s key findings are that U.S. securities class actions against foreign companies are on the rise and that the financial industry continues to be the target of “unprecedented litigation activity,” trends that are not particularly surprising in the wake of the global financial crisis. Here is a link to the full report available from the Clearinghouse website.
Posted in Class Action Decisions, Class Action Settlements, tagged 9th circuit, class action incentive, class action settlement, class settlement, incentive agreement, incentive award, incentive payment, ninth circuit on July 16, 2009 | 1 Comment »
In an opinion entered in April in Rodriguez v. West Publishing Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated its disapproval of the practice of plaintiffs’ counsel entering into incentive agreements with putative class representatives, which required their attorneys to seek successively higher payment in the event of class settlements in successively higher dollar amounts. The court described the problem as follows:
Incentive awards are fairly typical in class action cases. See 4 William B. Rubenstein et al., Newberg on Class Actions§ 11:38 (4th ed. 2008); Theodore Eisenberg & Geoffrey P. Miller, Incentive Awards to Class Action Plaintiffs: An Empirical Study, 53 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 1303 (2006) (finding twenty-eight percent of settled class actions between 1993 and 2002 included an incentive award to class representatives). Such awards are discretionary, see In re Mego Fin. Corp. Sec. Litig., 213 F.3d 454, 463 (9th Cir. 2000), and are intended to compensate class representatives for work done on behalf of the class, to make up for financial or reputational risk undertaken in bringing the action, and, sometimes, to recognize their willingness to act as a private attorney general. Awards are generally sought after a settlement or verdict has been achieved.
The incentive agreements entered into as part of the initial retention of counsel in this case, however, are quite different. Although they only bound counsel to apply for an award, thus leaving the decision whether actually to make one to the district judge, these agreements tied the promised request to the ultimate recovery and in so doing, put class counsel and the contracting class representatives into a conflict position from day one.
The court went on to approve the settlement, which called for the creation of a $49 million settlement fund to compensate a class consisting of aspiring lawyers who paid for BAR/BRI bar review courses from August 1997 through July 31, 2006. The court reasoned that although the incentive agreements were improper, there were two settlement class representatives who had not been parties to the agreements. However, the court remanded for a reconsideration of the attorneys fees to be awarded to the class counsel who had negotiated the incentive agreements and the possibility of an award to counsel for objectors who successfully objected to the incentive fee agreements.
A Securities Docket post today tipped me off to this Reuters article discussing the enactment of “Italy’s first law establishing class actions.” The law will take effect January 2010 and will apply only to conduct occuring after the law’s effective date. At first, I wasn’t sure whether this April 1, 2008, ClassActionBlawg article announcing Italy’s first class action law was just very prescient or an April fool’s joke, but according to the Reuters article, “The law is part of the so-called development package promoted by Development Minister Claudio Scajola, which has been before parliament for nearly a year.”
Economist David Gulley, Ph.D., of Navigant Consulting, has authored an informative white paper entitled Recent Trends in Rule 23 Class Certification Expert Analysis. Dr. Gulley’s article explores the expanding role of experts and increased scrutiny over expert opinion testimony in class certification proceedings in light of recent federal appellate decisions placing renewed emphasis on the rigorous analysis standard. See the Second Circuit’s opinion in In re IPO Securities Litigation and the Third Circuit’s opinion in In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litigation. The paper is a great resource for both class action attorneys and experts who are asked to testify in class certification proceedings.
The guys at the Drug and Device Law Blog have a post outlining “six things we’ve heard” about why no lawyers from the ten most profitable law firms have blogs. Perhaps wisely, the’ve chosen to stay out of the fray by commenting further. I do not share their good sense. I’m completely unqualified to speak to what motivates lawyers at the 10 most profitable firms to do or not do anything, but I will say some things in defense of the benefits of blogging for big firm lawyers.
1. Lawyers at the most profitable firms are stupid:
“‘Profitable’ large law firms don’t see the need or the benefit of doing blogs. Clearly, if they are already doing well, why go to the trouble and work involved in blogging, when too many BigLaw lawyers still believe that the work will always be there. A mistake of course, but a perception nonetheless.”
I can offer no proof that this is a mistaken perception, but it does presuppose that the only reason to do anything is to make more money.
2. Lawyers at the most profitable firms are too busy:
“The reason they are so profitable is that everyone is working their heads off – nobody has time to blog.”
I started work at 8:21 a.m. today and finished at 11:06 p.m., with 30 minutes off to drive home and pick up a Chipotle burrito on the way, so don’t talk to me about being too busy to blog.
3. Lawyers at those firms won’t stoop to blog:
“They are so profitable that they don’t think they need to stoop to marketing (which is what they think blogging is).”
Could be. Blogging is the geekiest form of shameless self-promotion, unless you count Twitter. But it’s also a great outlet for self-expression and a place to share ideas with smart lawyers who share your interests.
4. Lawyers at those firms don’t want to give away their product for free:
“Lawyers at the top ten PPP firms wouldn’t want anyone at the firm to blog because they might divulge the firm’s precious secrets.”
Of course, how to bill 1000 hours for a 150-page brief and the complete history of the juridical link doctrine are secrets worth protecting, but think about how much more money you could make if you made a nickel for every person who clicked on your blog to learn about your firm’s precious secrets.
5. Lawyers at those firms lack the necessary skill set:
“Those high-profit firms are so profitable because they are very good at making money, but the skill sets required for being good at making money may not be the same as the skill sets required to blog.”
ClassActionBlawg.com is proof positive that blogging does not require a skill set.
6. Lawyers at those firms correctly believe that blogging is unlikely to yield a decent return on investment because of the nature of the firms, the work they do, and their clients:
“When your firm name is already well known and your reputation that well established, you wouldn’t add any value by blogging.”
This one is right on. That’s why you end up with so many law blogs written by nobodies who’ve never accomplished anything and who hope that by starting a blog, you’ll mistake them for someone famous. Like this one from some guy named Spence who doesn’t even own a proper suit for court: http://gerryspence.wordpress.com/. Or how about these two: http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/? They sound more like Becker-POSER to me.
Jaclyn Jaeger of Compliance Week authored a comprehensive article published yesterday highlighting trends in credit crisis-related securities class action lawsuits. The article summarizes a June 15, 2009, NERA Consulting report entitled “An Update on the Credit Crisis Litigation: A Turn Towards Structured Products and Asset Management Firms.” Here is a link to the article, which in turn includes a link to a .pdf version of the NERA report.
The report finds that credit-crisis-related lawsuits exploded in 2008, increasing 172% over 2007. So far in 2009, filings appear to be continuing at a similar pace from 2009. The report also notes an increase in cases that name officers and directors as defendants and an increase in the percentage of cases filed by non-shareholder plaintiffs. Asset management firms and securities issuers and underwriters continue to be the target of the largest number of suits with only a small percentage of cases filed against mortgage lenders, home builders, insurers, and other defendants.
The filing statistics only tell part of the story, however. The report also provides preliminary statistics on the outcomes of cases, finding that almost two thirds of recent resolutions involved either an outright dismissal, partial dismissal, or voluntary dismissal. 15% resulted in settlements, while 21% survived motions to dismiss.
For anyone interested in tracking the litigation arising from the credit crisis, both the article and the NERA Consulting report are a worthwhile read.